Wrinkle-Free Laundry Without Ironing

    Lotus Head/stock.xchngOver time, I've worked out an easy system for keeping my clothes wrinkle-free. As a busy interior designer and blogger, I don't have hours to spend ironing. I'm sharing my iron-free wrinkle-prevention system with you so that you have more time for the things you care about, too. Here are Botox-free tips for keeping the wrinkles at bay. 

    1. Separate clothes not only by color, but also by fabric content and weight. Washing and drying in cold vs. hot temperatures based on the fiber content is important, as is keeping heavier items away from lighter pieces, which can be crushed under their weight. 

    2. The permanent press and gentle cool down dryer cycles will work well for wool and polyester blends. 

    3. Don't over-dry cotton and linen fabrics. You may use a higher heat dryer, but always remove the items while still slightly damp (very, very slightly). Never allow them to fully dry and then sit around inside the dryer.

    4. As soon as you remove clothing, give each piece a strong snap to remove excess water and start smoothing out wrinkles. Place shirts and blouses on hangers (preferably plastic tubular ones) and pull seams, collar, cuffs and button plackets straight to smooth out the wrinkles. If the shirt has gotten too dry, a fine spray of clean water will help loosen the fibers.

    5. Snap straighten clothes and linens that cannot be hung as above, and then hand press on a flat counter. Fold neatly, while continuously pulling any seams or edges straight. A gentle spray of water will help relax the fibers, but don't let the items get too wet. If this occurs, throw them back in the dryer on high heat for a few minutes and start again.

    6. Never cram clean laundry into an overcrowded closet or drawer, especially immediately after washing. The fibers are still settling down and the items are still prone to easy wrinkling.

    7. If clothes are slightly wrinkled after storage, you can steam many wrinkles out by running a hot shower and letting the items steam for a while. You can save water and electricity by doing this while you are showing anyway, plus you will reduce the need for ironing.

    8. Always return clothing to the closet or drawer as neatly as possible after wear. In most cases, shirts, pants and skirts may be worn a few times between washes, especially if you are quick to spot-clean as needed and wear appropriate undergarments. Water and heat cause fibers to break down. Your garments will last longer the less they are subjected to adverse conditions.

    This system works for me. Try it and let me know how it works for you.

    Linda Merrill writes for networx.com.

    Updated April 29, 2018.

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